Cleveland Indians vs. St. Louis Cardinals Two-Game Set: Series Preview
This week will feature an interleague battle of Central teams as the Cleveland Indians (31-26) square off with the St. Louis Cardinals (31-29).
This will be a brief two-game matchup between the two teams on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Cardinals will host this series at Busch Stadium.
Cleveland comes in after disappointingly losing a three-game series to the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend. In their last game, on Sunday, they were decimated to the tune of an 18-5 drumming by Baltimore. In the loss, starter Cal Quantrill gave up seven runs (five earned) in 1.1 innings.
St. Louis also had a disappointing weekend after being swept in a four-game series by the Cincinnati Reds. While three of the four games were determined by two runs or less, the Cardinals just couldn’t find a way to break through in any of the matchups.
The Schedule for the two-game series at Busch Stadium is as follows:
- Tuesday, June 8 – 8:15 pm ET
- Wednesday, June 9 – 8:15 pm ET
Here is the pitching matchup for each game of the series:
- Tuesday: Shane Bieber (6-3, 3.08 ERA) vs. Carlos Martinez (3-5, 5.83 ERA)
- Wednesday: Jean Carlos Mejia (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (3-5, 4.19 ERA)
Looking At Odds
Despite falling into third in their division, the Cardinals have the second-best odds of winning the NL Central at +175. The Indians are +410 to win the AL Central, only trailing the Chicago White Sox.
In terms of winning the World Series, the Cardinals are +2200 to do so while the Cleveland Indians are +4000.
By The Numbers
Offensively, neither of these teams has been especially stellar. The Cardinals rank 18th in baseball, averaging 4.23 runs per game. The Indians rank 21st, averaging 4.05 runs.
On the defensive side, it is Cleveland with the slight edge. They rank 14th, allowing opponents to score an average of 4.32 runs per game. The Cardinals rank 18th allowing 4.53 runs per game.
Cleveland Tries To Take Advantage Of Reeling Cardinals
Cleveland may be catching St. Louis at the perfect time in this matchup. The Cardinals are 3-7 in their last ten games, while the Indians have been a solid 17-14 on the road this year.
Sitting four games behind the White Sox for the division lead, the Indians know that every game is crucial if they want to win the AL Central.
Leading the way for the Indians offensively has been third baseman, Jose Ramirez. He is currently hitting .262/.348/.525 with a team-leading 13 home runs, 31 runs batted in, and 39 runs scored. He is also tied for the team lead in stolen bases with six.
Cardinals Trying To Stop The Bleeding
After a 3-7 stretch, the Cardinals went from leading the NL. Central to being in third, 2.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers. After being swept by one Ohio team over the weekend, they will try to avoid a similar fate starting in this short series.
The Cardinals offense has been anchored by third baseman Nolan Arenado. On the season, he is hitting .287/.333/.522 with 11 home runs, 40 runs batted in, and 30 runs scored.
Over the last week, Dylan Carlson (.333 average, one home run), Paul Goldschmidt (.368 average, one home run), and Tyler O’Neill (.318 average, one home run) have all hit pretty well.
Pitching Matchups Are Split In Terms of Edge
Coming into Tuesday’s opener, the Indians have to feel good about their chances. Shane Bieber continues to pitch like a bonafide ace while the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez was miserable in his last start giving up 10 runs in less than an inning of work.
On the flip side, the edge in Wednesday’s contest has to go to the Cardinals. While Jean Carlos Mejia has done some nice things this season, he will be on a pitch count as he tries to get stretched out as a starter.
Still, if Bieber can take care of business on Tuesday and the Indians can get to Wainwright Wednesday, a brief two-game sweep is possible for the Tribe.
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